Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Obama As Psychotherapist to a Nation? --
Lisa Schiffren at The Corner links to this column by Spengler in the Asia Times that analyzes Obama by the women in his life. It's an interesting analysis, even if I don't agree. Here's one tidbit:

Obama profiles Americans the way anthropologists interact with primitive peoples. He holds his own view in reserve and emphatically draws out the feelings of others; that is how friends and colleagues describe his modus operandi since his days at the Harvard Law Review, through his years as a community activist in Chicago, and in national politics. Anthropologists, though, proceed from resentment against the devouring culture of America and sympathy with the endangered cultures of the primitive world. Obama inverts the anthropological model: he applies the tools of cultural manipulation out of resentment against America. The probable next president of the United States is a mother's revenge against the America she despised.

I don't think that Obama is resentful of America, but I wouldn't be surprised if he uses the technique described of keeping his true thoughts close to the vest in order to find out what other people think. It sounds a bit like client-centered therapy, that unstructured form of psychotherapy pioneered by Carl Rogers which involves the therapist acting as a sort of a mirror that clarifies how the client feels.
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